2nd March 2020
Guest post by Zoe from SplodzBlogz.co.uk for Inspire2Adventure
Group taster adventures such as those run by Inspire2Adventure are absolutely brilliant for groups of friends wanting to do something different together, who might be celebrating a birthday or upcoming wedding, families who want to try something new together when on holiday, or businesses who are looking for team building fun. Have you considered that they are also fantastic opportunities for individuals? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try kayaking or gorge scrambling but none of your friends want to join you, or you are a wannabe downhill mountain biker or rock climber but need a helping hand to get you going.
I love to book outdoor adventure activities just for me, they are great for a quick bucket list tick on a weekend or a spot of personal development. I’ve had the pleasure of joining Inspire2Adventure for a their stand-up paddleboarding (https://splodzblogz.co.uk/2018/09/04/paddleboarding-inspire2adventure/) and gorge scrambling activities (https://splodzblogz.co.uk/2018/05/02/gorge-scrambling-with-inspire2adventure/), both excellent water-based fun that I highly recommend (I got slightly wetter on one than the other…), and would absolutely suggest that if you’re a bit like me and end up doing activities on your own a lot of the time (by choice or by design), you consider group based activity sessions as your way in.
Here I offer up the five reasons I think you should take the plunge and book yourself onto a group outdoor adventure – just for you – this springtime.
1. It’s a safe and fun way to try something new
This is by far the main reason I go on experiences with companies like Inspire2Adventure – I love to try new things. Giving things a go for the first time gives me a bit of a buzz that I don’t get when I do them the second or third time. I guess it’s something to do with the unknown, learning a new skill (even at beginner level), the act of taking a step out of my normal for a couple of hours. The activities don’t have to be particularly adventurous (or dangerous) in the way climbing the world’s highest mountain or scuba diving a wreckage might be, they can be seemingly simple yet still very new to you. A warning, though; that “new” feeling you get is a little bit addictive – you’ll end up with a bucket list as long as mine!
2. You can try things you wouldn’t otherwise
It’s not easy to head out on your own on a gorge scrambling expedition up a waterfall in the Brecon Beacons, or head out for a paddleboarding session on the River Wye for a couple of hours, not unless you already have all of the equipment, knowledge and confidence to do so – or have a friend with all those things! One-off experiences like those run by Inspire2Adventure are a great way to introduce yourself to things you simply wouldn’t be able to try otherwise. Booking yourself onto an outdoor adventure activity takes away the difficulty factor, the planning factor, and the “but I don’t know how” factor from the book of excuses and means you can actually have some fun doing something out of the norm. If nothing else, for activities where you travel a distance from the beginning to the end, an adventure with an outward bounds company will always get you back to the starting point at the end, and let’s face it, that is very handy indeed when you are travelling alone.
3. Group experiences are often cheaper than going it alone – and you get the equipment thrown in
Taking part in outdoor adventure activities are not cheap. You need to hire or buy equipment, get yourself trained, acquire the right permits to access rivers or particular facilities, and pay someone to teach you how to be safe and successful. And there’s potentially all that expense before you know if you even like it! Group experiences are therefore an excellent way to save a bit of money when you’re trying something for the first time, or even the second or third time because you fancy giving it another go. Even just having your own helmet and buoyancy aid needed for some water sports is going to set you back a fair amount – and who wants that stuff cluttering up their garage for years to come when you might only use it once or twice a year? The price of booking a place on an outdoor adventure might sometimes look like a lot for two or three hours of fun, but when you consider what you are getting, and what you are saving, they’re almost always excellent value for money.
4. There is always a knowledgeable, experienced and insured instructor to learn from
It’s not just that someone else is doing all the organising and worrying on your first ever time kayaking trip on a flowing river, it’s that the person doing the organising and worrying is trained, qualified and insured, and they’ve done this hundreds of times before. I always try and make an effort to chat with the instructors on outdoor activity experiences, it’s wonderful to take something from their passion for the sport or pursuit they’ve taken the effort to get really good at, and you can get lots of tips and tricks from them if you do more than listen to the initial briefing. Being insured and having a knowledgeable instructor takes a whole lot of risk out of trying something for the first time, especially when you are on your own and you can’t rely on your friend to look out for you. And as mentioned above, if you book a one to one with an instructor you will certainly pay a lot more than you would for a place on a group activity.
5. You aren’t really on your own!
With group adventures like these you have a ready-made bunch of people to talk to about the activity – as you’re getting ready, during the activity itself, and in the pub afterwards if you wish. As an introvert I would never actually organise this myself, but I’m quite happy falling into a group and enjoying the company and conversation. Signing up for a group adventure with Inspire2Adventure is a nice easy way to socialise with people doing the same thing as you. You’re often in the same position that it’s your first ever time doing it, you’re all a bit nervous, and that in itself is very comforting and reassuring. When a bunch of us bloggers were thrown together for the gorge walking experience, none of us had met before but the mutual support as we climbed waterfalls helped us all to succeed and feel good about it afterwards. It may be that you never talk to any of them again afterwards, but you never know, it might result in great friendships and future, maybe even bigger adventures. And at the very least, it’s good to feel like you’re not alone sometimes.
I hope I’ve shown here that there is no need to give up on your desire to try a particular activity just because you can’t find anyone to go with. Group adventures through outward bounds companies are a great opportunity to try something new and do something different. Book one place as a treat to yourself, and feel empowered to do that thing that you have always wanted to try. There’s a whole host of activities run by the team at Inspire2Adventure that I’m yet to try – which should I book next?